Holiday Cheer!

Where is the holiday cheer? I was in the store the other day and a woman was buying a stuffed animal for a child. My friend didn’t realize she wasn’t done with the cashier and she asked the cashier a question.  When the energy in the entire country changed to GRRRRRRR! My friend quickly became aware that she had upset this woman.  My friend turned to her and apologized and stepped back to let the now very angry woman finish her transaction.  I have to say the entire interaction between my friend and the cashier took about 15 seconds and it was about 2 seconds before my friend apologized and stepped back.  This woman remained angry was cranky at the cashier the cashier was now cranky and the stuff animal was sufficiently fused with anger.

I should have set the tone better and explained that everyone in the store was wearing Santa hats and Christmas music was playing in the background and we were at Disney (the happiest place on earth). My friend and I were having a great time walking through Disney looking at all things Christmas, shopping and trading pins.  A smile planted on both our faces and spreading cheer;  not to the angry lady, I guess.

Where is the holiday cheer and where is the compassion and understanding for mistakes like my friend’s ? I do not know what was the problem that day for that woman but I know she did not seem to enjoy Christmas shopping – but why? Aren’t the holidays full of love and joy? No they aren’t. There could be many reasons this particular woman was in a bad mood – sick child, no money but the pressure to live up to a child’s expectation forced her to spend anyway, someone was angry with her for stopping at the store and spread the mood – who knows.  It could simply be what I think is an epidemic regarding holidays – EXPECTATIONS! We are fed all kinds of crap about holidays and how full of love and joy they are supposed to be that we put an ideal on them.  We plan and plan the perfect holiday!

I believe we sabotage ourselves in one of two ways – we plan to have the perfect holiday or we plan to have the worst holiday (the nightmare scene).  Either way we are trying to control that which is uncontrollable.

Expectation of this perfect holiday! There are way to many variables in our daily lives – people, places and things effect us daily and we have NO control over them.  You can plan yourself into the perfect holiday but if someone wakes up in a bad mood christmas morning or someone doesn’t show up or the stove breaks,  what can you do? NOTHING!

If your expectation of the holiday is misery – then you will get misery!

I have plans to spend my first holiday with my partner at her family’s home and spend Christmas with her husband and two adult children.  A week ago my ego spent a lot of time swinging between the ideal and the nightmare Christmas.  I thought I will be zen and this will be an amazing Christmas and then OMG it is going to be so uncomfortable its going to be the worst Christmas in my life.  First, let me point out – I have a practice in my life of trying to live in the moment – today is December 10 and last week was the first week of December and Christmas day is on the 25th – am I living in the moment ? No I am living several weeks ahead of myself.

I can’t determine what Christmas will bring but I know all of the  mental gymnastics I have gone through in my head regarding the holidays and Christmas are about FEAR! I am afraid I am not wanted, I am afraid I make others feel bad, I am afraid my presence will upset others, I am afraid everyone else will be so uncomfortable I will feel that and start acting weird, I am afraid my partner will feel sad, I am afraid her family will feel sad… OMG I could go on and on !

STOPPPPPP! That is pretty much what I said to my brain the other night at around 2 am.  I first must say – as for it being the worst Christmas ever, not a chance.  I have spent Christmas with drunk passed out parents, awake angry parents and with no family at all. One year (I was about 14 yrs) we didn’t have dinner because my mother threw the roast across the living room into the slider, my sister threw all her Christmas presents down the stairs and I left and went back to my foster parents house. That year was a doozy but not my worst.

What I have learned over the years of having traumatic holidays and some amazing holidays ! Is If have let go of expectation and just fill my heart with my own holiday cheer – not past holiday memories good or bad – but just fill my heart with love and cheer and get in the spirit myself – I usually have an amazing time.

I am glad that I know that I don’t know what any day will bring and that I know when I start trying to manage and control an outcome in the future that I am doing it because of fear of the unknown and my ego’s need to protect me from anything painful or even slightly uncomfortable.   So this Christmas I am going to show up with love in my heart and acceptance of others and of the day itself. I have no control and while that is very scary I know when I show up to be of service and with love in my heart my holiday will turn out to be an amazing experience.  I also know that when I plant expectations on an event I am limiting its endless possibilities by control and fear.

I am going to walk through the fear each day and bring love into it.  My friends I hope you can do this to. This holiday season lets truly live in love not in fear.  I bet we can open some amazing doors of joy and happiness for ourselves and others.

Loving without Being Right

I am writing about this because I finally had a successful experience – yay me! I have struggled with the following scenario my whole life.

If I am chatting with someone or I overhear someone say something I don’t agree with –  BOOM my mind has a long list of things that this person needs to hear – from me of course and of course because they are clueless and I am oh so full of clue that I need to inform them.  After all the knowledge I need to impart to them is truly for the good of man kind! Right? NOOOOO! Well, I know the answer to that is “No” but I used to believe it was my absolute duty to open my mouth!

So what happens when I impart my knowledge, “the truth” as I see it (today I know its my opinion) :)? What happens is I anger the other person and we begin to battle – a battle to prove which one of us is right and the anger and frustration rises to a level that no one is enjoying themselves – especially me and then I sit back and say – how did this happen – oh yeah that person is so stupid they can’t even see that I am right. I should let them calm down and bring it up another day after I figure out a more simplistic way to show them or to explain the truth. OMG how unloving and foolish – but so me for so long.

I am changed today – I love the person even if they don’t see things my way.  Hell months ago I didn’t see things my way. Why judge others.  I am happy to love each person as they are – don’t get me wrong people I don’t always and it wasn’t always this easy – I had to ask for a lot of patience and help to keep my mouth shut.

The process to change this was like this:  – first opening my mouth and realizing it was going poorly and then saying never mind – backing out before the total implosion; then after dong that for a while I was able to just basically feel the need to fix/correct/ or inform but I would bite my tongue off so I wouldn’t say anything – I would still walk away frustrated and want to snap – but I didn’t open my mouth and I felt good about that.

Today – I ask for an intention of love and acceptance and I have experienced the ability to not even feel frustrated with the other persons erroneous thinking (in my understanding lol) but I say that is their truth and I allow them to have it.

In order to change I had to understand that it was fear and my ego that needed everyone to have my opinions and beliefs – today I can walk through that fear and allow others to feel and think what they want without the need to impart my belief system so I can feel like I am ok.  Today I am ok!

My friends this experience has been so rewarding for me and certainly taking some very negative energy out of some of my relationships or interactions with people – it is amazing, I encourage you to try it.

Walk through the fear of not being right or others not knowing what you know and just allow those in your daily interactions be! You will begin to have more peace and you will see the love you have for them regardless of what they think or believe. You will begin to accept and be in a place of unconditional love.

Today I am going to continue to walk through the fear of not challenging another person’s belief system and hope to find myself in a place of love and acceptance. Join me.

It’s the Little Things!

Hello Friends – Sorry but this blog will diverge just a touch from walking through fear to love – its simply about love and kindness.  Yesterday I was having a really rough day – I was exhausted from not sleeping the night before, emotional and of course I decided to not eat real food just have three 100 calorie shakes for the day. Mind you my decision to eat, actually drink 300 calories for the day came on the heals of my body being pretty comfortable consuming a couple thousand calories a day.  So talk about deprivation!!!!

Then the life lesson!!! Things didn’t go the way I planned and — I was ridiculously side swiped with disappointment and I was lost in WHY ME??? If you know anything about me – you probably realize I didn’t keep the gunk to myself– I spread it to my partner 🙂 ! She in a moment of brilliance and self preservation – told me she wasn’t going to take on my stuff and she would talk with me later.  Impressive!! Her ability to have self-care – stopped me dead in my tracks – my train wreck tracks… Shit I did it – I succeeded in spreading something other than love — DANG – I was not happy about this because I believe my true mission in this life is to spread love.  UGH ! Fail !!! Truth is I am human and I have to tell you I fail or fall short of perfection on spreading love 100% of the time each and every day! I don’t like that; but, if I am supposed to be spreading love then loving myself and my imperfection is part of the plan right! Ok – so I licked my wounds and regrouped and looked at my part in the complete life derailment – hahaha not really – these are simple problems.

Anyway, I had to sit with my discomfort and I am not a fan of that; so, I moped my way to the T and got on the train.  I was standing on the train filled with remorse and wanted to cry from exhaustion, hunger and sadness that I hurt my partner’s feelings.  Then suddenly, my world changed.  A nice young man looked up from his seat and asked it I wanted his seat.  WHAT ??? This kind of stuff is so powerful.  I thanked him and said no but that I appreciated his kindness.  This young man may have no clue how special I felt in that moment.  He saw me and he extended a kindness.  That simple gesture was all I needed to turn my day around – or – should I say my frown.  I share this story because the depth at which his kind gesture touched my heart was surprisingly impressive!

That young man changed my entire mood – from feeling sad and down on myself to joy and love.  I wish I had started my partner’s day out like that – perhaps my day wouldn’t have gone south so fast… but it was a lesson and a lesson is meant to be learned – next time – I hope I think of the young man and how my heart was lifted by him and choose to lift the heart of those around me instead of spread the dread.

Today I choose not to spread the dread but to take the risk to keep my heart open so I am capable of spreading love even when things don’t go the way I want them too.  Choosing love feels so good! Try it  🙂

Peek-a-Boo!

I know how lonely it feels to not be seen and how it feels to be disconnected not only from the world but from yourself.  I can remember times in my life where suicide or cutting seemed like the only solution for me.  I was in so much pain emotionally that I could not see anyway out of it and each and every moment in an hour felt like a lifetime. I can remember lying in bed thinking ok – I just have to close my eyes and sleep for a bit and this pain will pass.  Convinced many hours had passed I would open my eyes and look at the clock and it wouldn’t even be ten minutes later.  OMG – I couldn’t imagine a lifetime of such pain and suffering never mind survive less than ten minutes.

What I didn’t know at the time was that what was making me so uncomfortable was my feelings. I didn’t even know that the uncomfortable pain in my heart and gosh its almost impossible to describe – the only thing I can truly say is the minutes would take forever to pass and the loneliness was unbearable.

I would cut myself to relieve some of the pressure inside.. I hurt so much emotionally the only thing that would give me relief was physical pain.  Another thing, that today sounds crazy to me, but let me tell you I wasn’t crazy I was in emotional pain and I had no idea how to get through it was the BS solutions (as I believed them to be back then) people would tell me to see a therapist and cry! Hello – you most caring but not so brilliant people — actually that is a little harsh I should say “caring and good hearted but not understanding the situation people”.  I couldn’t tell a therapist what was going on!!!! In most situations I didn’t know what was really going on myself or I couldn’t trust a therapist  or anyone for that matter to tell them anything.  Crying – well I was convinced crying would open the flood gates of something or several things that I  would never recover from.

I have to admit – crying was a good suggestion but the people suggesting it didn’t realize I was too afraid and that meant that wasn’t a possibility for me.  Today –  I am a crying machine– love it ! I get such relief from it.  Ok – so what, right? – I left out a lot in between how is anyone supposed to get relief with me writing “I couldn’t cry because of fear and today I can.” I don’t really think that is helpful.

I learned to cry because I stopped moving away from my pain and I had no choice.  I didn’t cut, I didn’t try to kill myself and I didn’t used drugs or alcohol long enough to have no choice but to collapse on the floor and cry.  When all options were removed from my mind as options and the pain returned – I had no choice but to cry.  I cried an entire day – I remember all of the feelings coming with this long cry – the most fearful one was that I was alone – not physically but emotionally and that no one would ever see me or know me.  I didn’t drink, use, or hurt myself in anyway when these feelings came up. I cried and I cried out to whatever was in the universe to help me.  I never believed in God but on this day I was asking the universe for help – call it what you will.  I don’t know if I got help from the universe or if I simply didn’t hurt myself because I was busy crying and asking for help from whatever.

I remember one very distinct thing about this turning point day for me was when I woke up the next day – I couldn’t believe I survived and I felt a little better.  I did share with someone my experience and they just witnessed it without judgment and allowed it to be mine without trying to fix it or explain it.

On that day – I was the most desperate ever and I fell to pieces but it was in that day that I found freedom.  I found freedom from acting on the pain and the uncomfortableness of me. I had a trusted confident it was either the universe, the spot on my bedroom floor where I cried, or just my own crying and observation of it without action (hurting myself) – call it what you want – I found it and I embraced it.  To this day when I feel helpless and overwhelmed with pain or confusion or pretty much anything off-kilterish (like to make up words) to me – I get on that spot on my bedroom floor and ask for help – and I get it. Don’t ask from what – I am not equipped to explain.

Ok -why am I rambling about this – I guess because today I am realizing how much serenity I have and how much suffering there still is in the world.  I see and feel it and I see and feel those suffering. I have love for those and I wish I could give them what I have found but I can’t so for now I can say – be brave and ask for help. It is the hardest thing in the world to do – usually because we think it makes us weak but really it is hard so it actually means we are stronger.

I know we can survive our pain and suffering if we just ask for help, trust that it will come and good gosh stay away from hurting ourselves long enough to allow something different to occur!

Peek-a-Boo I see you and I know you are lovable! You are loved as I was (even when I didn’t feel it).  Walk through the fear and ask for help and free yourself of your pain.  I don’t even have words to describe the peace, love and joy I have today – even when my pain rises to the surface.

 

Why won’t you listen to me?????

Nothing breaks my heart more than watching someone I love suffer.  That is why when a loved one shares their pain with me, my default position is “fix it mode”.  Ugh – so wrong, usually they just want me to listen and I need to fix… you think its because I am loving and kind — NOPE its because I can’t tolerate how it feels to watch someone suffer.  I know that a person’s suffering is where they find growth and change.  I can’t change their pain or take it away from them without causing more harm – disempowerment. Trying to take away another’s pain is like saying – let me help you because you don’t know how to help yourself!

I especially can’t stand when a loved one is suffering because they think they aren’t good enough or that they will never be good enough.  It kills me because usually the people I know that feel this way are people who are AMAZING!!!  Ugh.. why won’t they listen to me?  Why don’t they hear it when I say they are amazing? Why don’t they believe it? Because my friends – no one can tell someone else how amazing they are and have it stick.  Sure it will feel good for a moment but the compliment will wash off.

I know what is needed its listening. I know the best thing to do is to tell my loved ones I am here for you, I am listening.  Oh – I can do this and it works great, then five minutes into the pain and oops fix it girl comes back again… I really need to work on this.

Today I am going to walk through the fear of experiencing my loved ones’ pain and allow them the opportunity to heal in love – Self Love!  I will work on allowing those I love to have their pain.  I will be present and listen.

The Terrible Twos

Its so disturbing to realize I could still use a highchair at 49 years old.  I just hate that about myself; but, childhood crap kicks up sometimes and my solution – react childishly; well in my head. I have to exercise the PAUSE to make sure I don’t let it sneak out.

My experience with the highchair today went like this:

I have been encouraging my partner to make choices on her behalf even if she fears it will upset me.  As I have written before, we have to choose ourselves before we can fill up with self-love and be grounded enough to share ourselves in authentically with others.  So today what did my partner do — just that! She chose herself over my feelings.  Dang – walking through that rejection was much more difficult than doling out such advice.  Awesome thing about it was  – I did in fact appreciate what she was doing and was able to compliment her on making that choice as I know it was extremely difficult to do.  Ok – I know you are all reading this saying – “come on, get to the highchair part.”

Well – as much as I was proud – damn my feelings were hurt and I felt rejected.  I am so lucky I have done work in this area because my heart hurt and I wanted to shut her out for good (old behavior) but instead I protected my heart and allowed my self to build a little wall to console myself. However, I wanted to stomp my feet and throw a fit – hence the highchair.  Instead I blocked my heart – I knew I was feeling rejected and making it about me but I also knew this was wonderful growth for my partner and was pleased on that end. My other side was wondering why can’t she process her crap with me????? She doesn’t love me, I am not good enough, I am going to die alone… NOPE probably not!! I stopped my  noggin madness and bought her flowers. I was a little closed mouthed and short worded when she came home but I was able to tell her how happy I was she was taking care of herself but that I was cautious because of feeling rejected and hurt. I love her and I know she loves me and that is all there is.

I know we are ultimately responsible for our own happiness. It doesn’t matter that I want to be the one to take her pain away and make her happy – I can’t and when she chooses to process stuff and choose herself I know that is where she will learned self – love and grow and its not about me.  I had to do the same thing and have to continually do it.  Ugh.. why can’t we just fix our loved ones and have them fix us???

I am so grateful to have a life where self evaluation and growth are big part of it. Even if its scary and sometimes painful.  We are going to get hurt and we are going to be rejected by others but I won’t allow that to shut my heart off permanently and I hope you all don’t either.  Love is an amazing thing and its only possible if we open ourselves up in the most vulnerable way. I know my partner isn’t rejecting me – she is choosing herself and I know it is what we must do to have a self to share. So my friends – go forth and choose you !!! I won’t take it personal – for too long! : )

Today I will walk through the fear (once again) of keeping my heart open and loving even when my childhood fear of rejection, not being good enough and being unlovable are triggered.  Gosh it feels good to be alive and FEEL – yes feel and feel everything.

 

Letting go!

Yikes – today I am in full I need to control – mode!!!! Grateful today that I know what that means – FEAR!!!!!! I am full of fear. Sometimes I go along through the day and even week with my spiritual self in full force.  I am trusting and relying in my path and all that crosses it. Today – not so much.

This morning it was like “BOOM” and suddenly my eyes opened up to how vulnerable my heart is.  Scary stuff my friends. The funny part is I know this and I have known and lived with this fear for so long – so why does my fear of lack of control feel like a new and sudden reality today? I don’t know – all I know is I can be going along trusting and relying and being authentic from the heart and suddenly something happens and I am so very aware of how fragile this 3d life is.  I don’t necessarily see this as a bad thing because it reminds me that life in 3d is short and that all I have is today to love and I should do it to the fullest in this very moment.

What was particularly cool about my fear of not being able to control “all that is” today was I recognized it as it happened – ok within minutes of it happening and I was able to let it go.  I still feel the reverberations or after shocks so to speak but I am able to move forward and smile at the recognition and use it to my advantage (love in this very moment).

I had an opportunity this morning to realize I had no legal standing in a situation to help someone (yes – if I hadn’t mentioned it previously – I am a lawyer) – so I think of such things sometimes even though they are not spiritual – to me at least.  Anyway – I digress ! So let’s see where was I – ok – I realized I had no legal standing to protect someone this am and I was riddle with fear!!!  Really – so I was 1) creating potential wreckage of the future – (nothing had happened to require this standing as of yet) and 2) I was fooling myself into thinking that even if I had legal standing that I could protect this person – FOOL !   I know truly – everything that happens happens for a reason -and usually the stuff I don’t want to happen happens to teach me something ! So really what control would I even have if I had legal standing – I would have a false sense of control and a false sense of security based on the power of me! If something were to happen to someone I love and I had the legal standing to do something about it  – the something already happened – what good is the legal standing?

I have to trust and rely that all that is meant to be happens and all that happens is meant to be and little old me isn’t going to stop it or fix it and stammering around in a place of fear will not change the lives of those I love or my own it will only rob them and myself of the present! I love the present – I can live and love a thousand lifetimes in the here and now.  Tonight sit back and really look into the eyes of someone you love for even a moment and I think you will understand what I mean.  I look in my loves eyes and a thousand lifetimes come through to me – I won’t let fear take that away from me today.

Live in love my friends!